Saturday, September 22, 2007


Well, finished reading the copies I made at the archives. Always enlightening but this time just a little sad. One of the documents that I copied was a report on Vivian Chase's funeral. At the end of the report there's an addendum detailing what happened the night she was killed.

Vivian and other members of her gang had finished a robbery. They decided to have a few drinks. Vivian said something to one of the men, Clarence Sparger, and he shot her then he ran away from the group. Evidently the remaining gang members took Vivian to St. Luke's Hospital. They left her inside the car at the hospital's parking lot. She died a couple of hours before anyone found her body.

There has always been speculation that Vivian was executed because of a double cross. The truth is it was a drunken quarrel.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Vivian again I went to the Archives again. I can't believe this is my last day of vacation.

I'm almost positive that I was wrong about Vivian and Pearl Loge being the same person. I took a close look at the original photograph and Pearl Loge seems less hardened; she also talked up a storm. Vivian Chase was notoriously closed mouth when questioned. Also, agents noted the resemblance to Vivian right away so I'd tend to think that they would have tried to match fingerprints with Vivian's first thing.

Another thing, Percy Fitzgerald, one of the August Luer kidnapping team stated that Vivian was only used to gain entry into the house. Some how that makes me feel better about her because it was an incredibly unprofessional job. I like to think she did her part and then let the rest of them make a mess. Looks like I have some fun reading tonight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Well, I know it's been a while since I've posted. Largely my silence has been due to multiple personal/professional disruptions that no one except for the parties involved care to know.

Anyway yesterday I went to the LOC to look up Vivian Chase articles. I was disappointed to find out that the LOC does not have issues of the Kansas City Times microfilmed. The Kansas City times was the morning edition of the Kansas City Star for the years I'm interested in. I'm convinced that the truly interesting stuff is in the Times (only because it is unavailable to me)! I did get some great articles about the 1932 bank robbery with Luther Jordon. She was actually implicated in the murder of Earl McDowell a union organizer and thug wanted in Chicago for the murder of some unfortunate female. The article stated that Jordon may have killed McDowell because he was jealous of Vivian's affections for him. Jordan always denied he was ever romantically involved with Vivian Chase. I don't doubt that Chase and McDowell were paramours (as the FBI likes to call such relationships) because an alias she used at the time was Vivian McDowell. Vivian seems to have taken the last name of her lovers when propriety dictated it as the most prudent course. After all it was the 20's and 30's.

So loads of information from this trip; unfortunately I didn't get all the articles I was looking for. The next trip in I will concentrate on the 20's. Tomorrow or Friday I'm going to make a trip to the Archives again to copy more of the Luer Kidnapping file. I was going to go to the FBI reading room to read some of the Karpis gang file, but this week off is going by fast. Again amazing how personal time goes much quicker than professional time.

Well I've got a bunch of stuff I wanted to accomplish today, important stuff like getting a pedicure so I'm off again.